A recently released report may impact the future of rodeo in Edmonton.
The report looked at the future of Edmonton’s Rexall Place — home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Canadian professional rodeo’s championship finale since 1975. The two recommendations put forward would see the aging arena either repurposed to host “mid-sized events” or demolished if Northlands (owners and operators of the facility) cannot find partners willing to redevelop the building. The review and subsequent report were made necessary as the city awaits the arrival of the new Rogers Place Arena, set to open downtown in 2016.
“Pro Rodeo Canada has had a long history of success, in large part because of our working relationship with the great staff and volunteers at Northlands for over 42 years,” noted CPRA General Manager Dan Eddy. “Pro Rodeo Canada represents the highest calibre of professional rodeo athletes in the world, and after today’s news we have mixed emotions. We now know that the greatest Rodeo Final in Canadian history may need to find a new home in 2017.”
Eddy went on to say that, “Although we are saddened even by the thought of moving locations, we are excited about the opportunities that are before us, and are committed to working closely with Northlands to make the 2015 and 2016 CFR the biggest and best in its 42-year history. Our continued focus will be to grow the level of excitement around our Championship Finals Rodeo while expanding our great sport to new audiences in Canada.”